Your Delivery, Your Choice

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All your hard work, preparation and research builds up to the moment of truth — the delivery. And the big day can come with a lot of uncertainty, especially if this is your first pregnancy. With all the new medical advances in this day and age, there are more options than ever for how you bring your baby into this world. It can be overwhelming. Your OB/GYN is the best resource as you determine a birth plan that’s right for you. As you compile a list of questions to ask your doctor, here are a few options to consider that are available in Thailand.

Expecting Expats - Your Delivery, Your Choice

Natural Birth

Natural birth is carried out with as little medical intervention as possible. Usually this means laboring without drugs or an epidural, but it can also mean laboring without continuous electronic fetal monitoring — a machine that checks the baby’s heart rate and how responsive the infant is to contractions.

Natural birth is non-invasive, so it comes with minimal potential for adverse side effects to your baby. Research shows that women who naturally birth are less likely to need further medical intervention like catheters or vacuum extraction than women who do get the epidural.

Water Birth

Water birth is a form of natural birth in which women go through labor while soaking in a tub of water. This is said to have additional benefits of comfort and relaxation.

If natural birth interests you, there are a few resources to help you along in Thailand. Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital offers a fantastic birthing center, and their obstetricians and teams can advise you on water birth and other natural approaches.

However, with any form of natural birth you also accept the reality of pain. Deep breathing proves helpful, but nothing eliminates pain like an epidural during delivery. For more information, read our blog post about natural birth.


The Caesarean section, or C-section, is a procedure where the baby is delivered by a surgical incision through the abdomen and uterus. Regional anesthesia like an epidural or spinal block is administered to numb the woman below the waist.

C-sections are common for the birth of multiple babies or if the baby is in a breech or transverse position, with its body positioned upside-down in the stomach. When your medical practitioner suggests a C-Section, it is usually to avoid complications during delivery.

Since this option is surgical, it does come with more risk than vaginal delivery. Infection, excessive bleeding and blood clots are among the possible adverse outcomes. However, technology has come a long way in recent years and C-Sections are considered generally safe.

The rate of C-sections across the world has risen in recent years. It is a trend some women find disconcerting, as they feel natural birth is better for the mother and child. In Thailand, the rate of C-sections has also jumped over the last 10 years. A recent study in Thailand of patients receiving private practice treatment inside public hospitals found that there was a higher chance of C-section in private versus non-private maternal care.

Having a discussion with your doctor about a C-section and its implications is very important, especially if you are experiencing complications during your pregnancy.

Looking for support?

Mom’s Meet is an informal monthly gathering for moms and moms to be in Bangkok, where you can discuss your questions and concerns with pregnant peers who are grappling with the same issues.

Questions to Ask

  1. This is a handy checklist of questions that you can bring to the hospital. Knowing all your options is the best way to plan a successful delivery.
  2. If your doctor says you require a C-section, ask why.
  3. Which medications and medical technologies will be used during a C-section?
  4. Which medications and medical technologies will be used for a regular delivery?
  5. Can I opt out of certain medications or technology? Why or why not?
  6. How do I know if natural birth is right for me?
  7. If I choose natural birth or water birth, how do I ensure my safety? How do I ensure my comfort?
  8. If you’re not on call, or are busy with another birth, then who will deliver my baby?
  9. What happens if I go past my due date?
  10. What is the hospitals C-section rate? (This usually should not be higher than 34 percent in Thailand)

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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